Miss England Final 16-17 May:
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Talented performer and Miss England 2024 finalist Mia Risco (19) from South Yorkshire  has been scouted to represent England in Miss Teen International taking place in India 

Mia Risco competed in the Miss England grand final in may this year sponsored by Watermans Hair , the Hair loss brand based in Rotherham South Yorkshire . Now the only teenager from Rotherham has been scouted to enter an international contest !
The Miss Teen International competition is one of the biggest of its kind and is being held in India and  is an annual beauty pageant owned by Glamanand Entertainment Pvt Ltd that focuses on empowering young women between the ages of 13 and 19. The pageant aims to provide a platform for teenage girls from around the world to showcase their talents, intelligence, and community involvement and reading through this article you will see Mia certainly fits the contest criteria.

photo of Mia in her WeDoEthical outfit by @bamboophotolab

Mia is a british mixed woman of dual heritage and lives in Rotherham South Yorkshire. Her father is Pakistani and mother is half english, half irish.
Mia reached the Miss England 2024 final by qualifying in Blackpool.  She reached the top 3 in the talent round at the semi final with her energetic dance and iceskating performance.
It was January 2023 was the the beginning of Mia’s Miss England journey.

Mia wore a lilac coloured gown at the Miss England final at the Grand Station Wolverhampton

 ” I was part of the first virtual heat & attended a make up free audition in London . I made it to the semifinals which then landed me a place as one of the top 40 in the country” said Mia .
“I first entered Miss England as I just wanted to try something new and out of my comfort zone. If I am being honest when I first entered the contest, I really didn’t have much knowledge on what it entailed. Like most people, I just saw it as a beauty contest. From my experience, when people think of the infamous contest Miss England, they tend to only think of appearance, beauty, objectification and practically basing your worth on your looks. However, I soon came to realise that this is not the case in the slightest. I think beauty takes such a small part in the contest really. In my opinion, today, the competition focuses on the beauty within.  As well as this there is a heavy focus on charity and ethical sustainability. Coming to learn this made me even more excited about the contest. It motivated me, and gave me even more purpose in continuing miss England. It’s been a wonderful journey and experience that I honestly will never forget.

Mia in her WeDo ethical fashion outfit

During the Miss England final, I took part in the 1920s We do ethical fashion round. I thoroughly enjoyed this round as I admired the encouragement of sustainability and ethical fashion. I’m a big supporter of this and I love stealing my mum’s old clothes and finding amazing deals on Vinted, a great place for second hand fashion! My first item that was part of my outfit, was my long black gloves. I had already had these lying around as a part of my Halloween collection. Halloween is my favourite holiday so having a lot of costume pieces and accessories lying around is very normal to me. My second item that was also from my Halloween collection was an old lace choker. Last year, my friend for her 18th birthday had a party which was 1920s themed. I had already got a feather headband inspired by the flapper girl style, so I decided to wear this as I believe it was very fitting for the theme and outfit. I then got some small black heels from Vinted for £4.50. As a muslim, I have quite a few head covers lying around. I, of course, have my jersey scarf hijab which I used as a day to day scarf, that I wore around my neck. I also wore my turban style head scarf, like the turbans they used to wear in the 1920s. I believe they had influence from other countries, especially South Asia, where turbans are typically worn. So, having this being a part of my outfit, gave it even more of that personal touch for me. For my earrings, I had taken them from my mums wardrobe. And finally my dress, was too from my mums wardrobe. my mum had quite a few selection of dresses for me. She even had a flapper girl style dress. However, the dress I decided to wore just felt so different to me, and I felt so confident in it, which is always important to me when it comes to fashion.

But representing England at Miss Teen wont be the first time Mia has represented her country. 
“I represented Great Britain in 2019, in an iceskating competition in Tallinn, Estonia. I think representing your country and your flag is a very significant thing to do in your life and it’s something to be very proud of. I would definitely say doing so has been one of my greatest achievements. I had figure skated from the young age of roughly 5 and continued to do so until sadly after my international. That was my final time competing. It was sad to let go, but I enjoyed every moment I had figure skating and that final contest representing GB. It’s something I had always aimed towards and now I’m so grateful for another opportunity to do it again! I’m proud of where I come from and would love to share that with the world.
Is Mia Charitable ? 
“With the fundraiser round in Miss England , I had organised quite a few events. I thoroughly enjoy organising charity events and raising money for amazing causes. It’s something I’ve been brought up to do, as my dad is heavily involved in charity and has been a big inspiration in that way for me. I’ve done various things for charity, such as a skydive for Macmillan, a sit down meal for Syria and Turkey, where I raised almost over 18,000 (this is one of my best achievements, and hope to do another event like this again soon), and my dance shows. For the charity balls to cancer I have set up my own just giving page and has asked people to donate. This was not my first time fundraising for cancer. As I have mentioned. I also did a skydive for Macmillan where I had another just giving page set up as well.
Altogether I have raised £917 for Balls to Cancer! raising awareness on the evil, that is cancer is a very important and personal mission for me. Cancer has sadly affected my family massively. It unfortunately does run in my family and has ruined the lives of many of my loved ones. My mums dad, my grandad passed away of cancer in 2021. My grandad is the biggest inspiration I’ve ever had. He was an amazing man, a loving father and husband, and the best grandad in the entire world. He did anything and everything for me, and was my biggest protector and supporter. With my fundraising, I hope to raise awareness on how obviously horrific this disease is and how we should also be focusing on the care of the mental state of the patient suffering, as well as the family. In situations like this, you can’t prepare for it, and you have no idea what is going on and what’s going to happen next. The only people that can tell you how it feels is the person going through it, and more often than not due to the horrible predicament they’re in and how the disease is affecting them and eventually their brain, they will struggle to tell us what’s really going on inside. they will feel alone and misunderstood. That is why charities like balls to cancer and Macmillan are so important to me. Specifically balls to cancer as they focus on the care and support for the person living with cancer, and their family. Even the family need support as they are too going through something. It is definitely not the same thing, but they are still going through a horrible and isolating journey, unsure of what’s happening next and how to deal with all these different emotions. I have also raised money for mental health numerous times. My chosen charity is often papyrus. For Papyrus, I have raised altogether roughly £1,200. I have done this by organising different dance shows in my local area, sheffield. I chose to do a dance show as I am for one, a dancer and two a message I’d really like to promote is the fact that dance and the arts industry in general is a place to flourish and come together where we can improve our mental health and tackle serious issues. I also tend to make my shows multicultural dance shows. This too has a message behind it. This is because I would like to showcase a variety of cultural dances to my area because more often than not, they are something that people have never seen before. I love seeing everyone’s reactions to the different dances as it teaches people to appreciate and embrace different cultures, instead of judging, or turning away from them. My first show similar to this was when I was 17 years old at school. It was the same idea I have now, with the point of promoting different cultures coming together to celebrate and showcase their talents and beautiful cultures and to highlight how dance and the arts can actually help mental health, more than people realise and should be something made aware of.
About the Miss Teen International final 
Im very excited to travel to India and enter Miss Teen International , its such a great opportunity. Im sure it will be a wonderful the experience .  As a young woman myself, inspiring a variety of women is something I believe I could achieve with the platform Miss Teen My mum is coming with me to India . She is looking forward to being by my side on this journey and seeing where it leads me next. No matter the outcome I always now she knows I have done my best and just enjoys watching me have fun and take on this new exhilarating experience. would give me.

It’s part of my identity and I try to promote this as much as I can, so other people can feel as confident about their self identity as I now do. When I was younger I did struggle with being proud of my ethnicity and understanding myself. At school I felt many times ridiculed because of my differences to my peers. I was embarrassed and was unsure on how to handle it. However, I know now no matter what, your heritage is something to be proud of.
The Miss Teen contest matters to me because of the message I aim to send and the platform it would give me. I am very passionate about a variation of topics. However my main subjects I’d be wanting to fundraise for and bring awareness to is women’s issues and diversity within the arts.  I strongly believe in the significance of the arts and how they can help celebrate diversity and educate and inform on serious subjects. I would also want to discuss and tackle the struggles, that women face, especially the struggles that are often overlooked, despite their importance. I want to raise awareness on the abuse women and children deal with in regards to human trafficking, honour killings, female genital mitigation and more. Despite what the majority may think, this is more common than you would realise. I want to bring a light to this in my country and eventually globally. I would like to eventually one day establish my own charity in aid of helping women and victims alike.
Thanks to
; @jeans_sparkles ( instagram)  Big thank you to Jeans Sparkles for providing dresses for me to wear in the contest .
I cant wait to wear their beautiful gowns on stage in India.
I would like to thank my family for supporting me. Especially my parents for making me blessed enough to be gifted this opportunity. I’m very aware of my privilege and how fortune I am, and that is all because of my parents and their work ethic and determination in helping me reach my dreams. I’d also like to thank my sister, as she’s one of my biggest supporters and helps me in anything that I need, giving me guidance and encouragement constantly. As well as this, she is an inspiration being a strong and wonderful woman and sister. And finally  my cousin, who is always there for me and has been there for all my contests I’ve competed in. From being my makeup artist to close friend and cousin wrapped in one, I’m always so thankful to have such an encouraging and helpful cousin, who’s always by my side. I wish I could go on and on for who I’d like to thank, as so many of my family members are so dear to me and supportive like my grandmother and other cousins.
But overall, I appreciate all the support I get and the blessing that is my family.

Photo @Greyfalena_

 

About the future ? 
I have many goals and dreams for myself that I wish to achieve in my lifetime. In the next five years, I will be focusing on my fundraising and working towards establishing my own charity to help women, children and victims alike of abuse and eventually extend into aiding people who have dealt with discrimination of any kind.

In future , I hope to grow my Bollywood classes more and to help women in my community feel more confident about themselves through dance. As well as this, I’d like to advance my own dance, as well as my acting. The arts are very important to me and I hope to have established myself more within the industry in these next upcoming years. I hope to one day be apart of projects and films that help educate people, make them think and touch their emotions.

That is one of my biggest dreams and I know one day I’ll be able to achieve this if I keep persevering and working hard!
And Finally… 
The best part of competing in beauty pageants is the experience you gain from it. There isn’t an experience like it on many levels. It’s a very different world I think. Especially for me, as I feel very new to pageants and had never even thought about entering a pageant until last year! I would say it definitely helps with your confidence and lets you express yourself in all sorts of different ways. You also can form great friendships and meet so many interesting, different people. I would say that’s definitely one of the best parts about it. As well as that, having the chance and being given the platform to talk about your passions and discuss what you’d like to highlight and promote is amazing and something I’m very fortunate for, and you don’t often get opportunities like that.
Mia flies to Delhi India for Miss Teen International from 29th June – 7th July 2024  We wish her the very best of luck in the contest .
Follow the Miss Teen International contest on Instagram here